Meet the Young Allies

Meet the Young Allies: Araٌa

Go for a swing with the teenage arachnid as she joins the Young Allies!

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By Kevin Mahadeo

On June 9, the next generation of Marvel champions comes together to commemorate the Heroic Age in YOUNG ALLIES #1 by Sean McKeever and David Baldeon! As we wait patiently for that day, Marvel.com will spotlight a quartet of characters who will in part comprise the Allies, with commentary from McKeever as well as key reading on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. So sit back, read up and join the Young Allies!

 

 
Going from swinging high as a teenage super hero with spider powers one day to suddenly being powerless in a new Heroic Age the next certainly sucks. Thankfully, for the young hero called Araٌa, she's got a group of friends in YOUNG ALLIES ready to help her out.

Coming this June, the new ongoing title by writer Sean McKeever and artist David Baldeon brings together some of the Marvel Universe's teenage champions as a not-quite super hero team. The series follows up on McKeever's previous work in the NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD limited series and FIRESTAR one-shot. It also flows directly out of the writer's recent back-up stories in CAPTAIN AMERICA featuring Anya Sofia Corazon, better known as the amazing Araٌa.

"She's sort of at a crossroads with herself," says McKeever. "She doesn't have her super powers anymore but yet she still wants to be a hero. So, she's really struggling with the fact that she's pretty vulnerable, as opposed to previously when she had super strength and the armor and all those sorts of things. She's very self-aware and self-conscious. She has a pretty good friendship with Rikki [Barnes, aka Nomad] going on, [and she also] has no powers, so she's able to help Anya sort that out."

However, McKeever hints that the arrival of a new team member in the very first issue puts the two's friendship to the test. When Nomad seeks out the hero Toro-a former friend and teammate in Rikki's home reality

ARAرA: THE HEART OF THE SPIDER digest
but a stranger in the regular Marvel Universe-it causes a rift in the bond between her and Anya.

"A big part of their relationship moving forward will be adding Toro to the mix and what he brings to the dynamic between them," explains the writer. "It's not going to be a love triangle thing because that's sort of been overdone, but there will definitely be some hiccups in Anya and Rikki's relationship because of Benito's presence. The fact that he's in bull form and [Rikki] knows his real name and he's never met her before, he's pretty freaked out by that and that's going to play a major role in the story between Anya, Rikki and Benito for sure.

In fact, McKeever says that just being around a group of super-powered teens leads to a very dual-sided emotional journey for Araٌa.

"It's motivating, but it's also frustrating," he says. "It's motivating because she gets to see others who are like-minded doing good. But at the same time she can't quite provide her part of the equation as she is, so that's definitely a source of angst for her."

YOUNG ALLIES #1 cover by David Lafuente
As for exactly how Araٌa contributes to the crime-fighting equation, that seems to tie into the character's new costume design, one reminiscent of another spider-based hero, Arachne. McKeever kept very quiet about the new look, instead directing readers to keep their eyes on upcoming issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

"I can say absolutely nothing about it," swears McKeever, instead leaving readers to wait for the release of YOUNG ALLIES issue #1 this June.

ARAرA DIGITAL HIGHLIGHTS

AMAZING FANTASY #1 (2004): The first appearance of Araٌa

ARAرA: THE HEART OF THE SPIDER #1: Anya gets some power upgrades and hunts the Spider Society

MS. MARVEL #7 (2006): Araٌa begins training with new mentor Ms. Marvel and reveals her secret identity to her father

 

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